I Stand Alone
This legendary old dog doesn’t have a lot of new tricks, but what he has are as good as ever. Only one of the songs on I Stand Alone is written by Elliott (“Woody’s Last Ride,” about his hero Mr. Guthrie). The rest were selected from Depression-era folk singers like Cisco Houston, the Carter Family and Leadbelly. Lucinda Williams, David Hidalago of Los Lobos, Flea, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline and Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker all make appearances. Elliot’s picking is sweet and strong, and his voice is weathered, good-natured and honest, with occasional shouts that sound almost cow-punk. The songs are full of dignity and humor whether talking about arthritis troubles, Jean Harlow, a faithful dog named Blue, the assassination of President James Garfield or simply traveling on.